Tilapia, Honey Emerging Products in Southern Mindanao
By Manuel T. Cayon, Business Mirror, 12/24/2009
DAVAO CITY—The government and entrepreneurs here have set their eyes on the production of honey and tilapia, two of the six emerging products of choice in Southern Mindanao…
In the case of honey, the DTI said the Mindanao campus of the University of the Philippines has already indicated its willingness to assist in the research and testing of a demonstration farm within their campus in Davao City. The demo farm will be used to “come up with the appropriate module to be promoted.”
Various postings in the Internet show that honeybee production in the Philippines has been highly limited, and while separate production efforts were undertaken in the various regions, these have been unsuccessful and reduced to selling only by the roadside.
“In many Asian countries beekeeping with Apis cerana in traditional hives has been very common, yet such techniques have never been practised in the Philippines.
Honey gathering, mainly from Apis dorsata, still takes place in woodlands and local honey can be found for sale along the roadside,” an Internet post said.
The indigenous honeybee species of the Philippines include Apis dorsata, Apis cerana and Apis andreniformis, the latter present only in Palawan.
“Honey-hunting has long been practised in the tropical forest, which is increasingly threatened by human encroachment and destructive activities including charcoal burning and illegal logging.”
Modern beekeeping emerged in the 1970s with the importation of European races of the honeybee Apis mellifera—together with associated frame hive technology.
Almost all the honey sold in the supermarkets is imported from the US, although local and imported honey fetches almost the same price of $4 per kilogram.
Recently, honey production in the country has been conducive in the more than half of the 3 million hectares of coconut plantations in the Philippines. Coconut trees bear flowers and fruit year-round from where honeybees, particularly Apis cerana, tend to build their colonies in coconut plantations.
The Internet post said a beekeeper from Tagum City, Davao del Norte, said a colony of foreign honeybees can gather 8 to 10 kilos of coconut nectar in one day.
Beekeeping under coconuts can boost the coconut farmer’s earning by an average of P100,000 a hectare per year from his honey, pollen, royal jelly and wax…